Wednesday 8 March 2023

Elementary math teacher allegedly placed several students in chokehold, causing 5th-grader to pass out

 A Connecticut teacher has resigned her position and been placed under arrest after she allegedly performed a chokehold on several elementary students, causing one of them to lose consciousness.

On February 24, Stephanie Sanabria, 50, was working as a math coach at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, Connecticut, about 40 miles west of New Haven. During class that day, Sanabria reportedly decided to conduct a martial arts demonstration and placed three students into a chokehold. One of the students then passed out, but fortunately, did not suffer "any permanent injury," a Norwalk Public Schools press release stated.

"One of the students lost consciousness as a result of Sanabria’s actions," the press release said. "The school nurse immediately treated the child." A spokesperson for the district later stated that the demonstration was not a planned part of the day's lesson.

The Special Victim’s Unit of the Norwalk Police Department then conducted an investigation and met with Sanabria at her home in Danbury on Friday. She was soon afterward arrested and charged with second-degree strangulation, risk of injury to a minor, and first-degree reckless endangerment. Her bond has been set at $20,000, and she is scheduled to appear in court on March 10.

The district also confirmed that she has resigned her position. "The safety of our students is our first concern," the district statement said, "and we immediately investigated the situation with Ms. Sanabria when it occurred."

Parents have expressed shock and concern about the allegations. "It’s scary to think it could have been my child or someone else’s child that I know," said Alicia Farrow.

"Clearly, I don’t think she knew what she was doing," added Allison Petrides. "...[I]t kind of goes to show you that they should not be putting their hands on the kids whatsoever."

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